Additional resources and sources of support

additional_resources.jpgYou will no doubt be well aware of the vast resources that are now available in part reflecting the COVID-19 pandemic which has been hugely challenging to all of us. Whilst the focus of our PSW service is on providing short-term support to enable the educational progress of our trainees, please also see the resources below for health service staff that you may find helpful. This includes the BMA's updated contacts list which signposts trainees and educators to  wellbeing support services across the region. 

If someone’s life is at risk or they cannot be kept safe, call 999 or go to A&E 

Disclaimer of Endorsement: The PSW provides these details as a resource for medical trainees. This does not constitute or imply an endorsement or any recommendation of the listed organisations, nor does it necessarily mean that the views they express or the services they offer are in line with that of the PSW. This selection of resources is in no way intended to represent an exhaustive listing. If you would like to recommend a resource please email psw.em@hee.nhs.uk


 

Guidance for trainees experiencing financial hardship

We recognise that you can unexpectedly find yourself in a situation where your finances come under pressure due to a variety of personal circumstances. It is possible that you might feel worried that your financial situation may impact on your ability to progress through your training. Whatever the reason, we would recommend that you think through options with those who are close to you at an early stage. Whilst HEE cannot provide direct financial assistance you will find it helpful to talk to your Educational Supervisor as there may be options to take the pressure off your training whilst maintaining your income and stabilising your finances. Please also feel free to contact us in the PSW team for a confidential chat.  However difficult it may be, you are not alone and the following provide specific help which is available for trainee doctors and dentists; 

Careers Support

In the first instance, we encourage you to speak with your Educational Supervisor about career related issues. 

However, if you are considering a move away from Medicine or are unsure of which specialty to choose and need more advice, we have a dedicated careers team who can help in the following ways:

  • Working with individuals
  • Career workshops for small groups
  • Web and VLE resources
  • Foundation School and Specialty School events and workshops

Click here for more information.

Mental Health and Wellbeing resources
Counselling options
  • GP: for long-term counselling support please speak to your GP
  • Practitioner Health: this is an award winning, free confidential NHS service for doctors and dentists across England with mental illness and addiction problems, who are working or looking to return to clinical practice. Call 0300 030 3300 or email: england.phpadmin@nhs.net
  • Association of Christian Counsellors: this is a free service developed and funded by the Association of Christian Counsellors, who are offering up to 8 online or telephone counselling sessions from qualified counsellors at flexible appointment times by video or telephone. This confidential service is open to people of all beliefs and none. You can also ask to be matched with a counsellor by ethnicity. It is avalilable for:
    • HS clinical and non-clinical staff working with Covid-19 patients in a hospital setting
    • Paramedics and anyone working within the ambulance services caring for patients with Covid-19
    • Ancillary staff working in Covid-19 areas in hospital settings including cleaners, porters and mortuary workers
  • The Islamic Mental Health and Wellbeing service: Inspirited Minds and the Lateef Project have partnered with the NHS to provide a free, confidential and Islamic faith-based counselling service for Muslims working in the NHS people, delivered by qualified counselling therapists. For more information, please visit: https://inspiritedminds.org.uk/nhs or https://www.lateefproject.org/get-support
  • Relate: anyone delivering NHS services in the Midlands and London can access free 30-minute WebChats or phone calls with Relationships and Wellbeing Advisors via relatehubNHS. The service is run by relationships charity, Relate, and is open from Monday to Friday. Relate’s advisors are all experienced counsellors who can talk to you about whatever’s on your mind – whether that’s struggling to juggle work and family life, arguing with your partner or feeling stressed, anxious or lonely at home or at work. To access the service and to find out more please visit: relate.org.uk/relatehub-nhs or call 0300 303 4477. If you have any trouble getting through simply leave a voicemail or email NHS@relate.org.uk providing your name and contact details and a member of the team will be in touch.
  • BMA: offer a 24/7 service (also available to non-members including family members). Call 0330 123 1245. Please note that this BMA service is NOT for those who may be feeling suicidal, but if you are in need of help with feelings of suicide please contact the Samaritans charity and seek help.
  • Mental Health hubs: suitable if you wish to explore talking therapies. See https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/talking-therapies-medicine-treatments/t...
  • NHS Bereavement support - Hospice UK: this is a free, confidential bereavement support line provided by a team of qualified and trained bereavement specialists. Call: 0300 303 4434 - lines are open 8:00am – 8:00pm, seven days a week
  • NHS Staff Support line: free helpline is available to all NHS staff in England. Trained professionals can give you advice on coaching, bereavement care, mental health and financial help. Support via text is also available to doctors any time of day.
Coaching support
  • #Lookingafteryoutoo (BAME): offers one-to-one wellbeing coaching support for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff working in NHS and ambulance trusts through COVID-19 and beyond. This individually tailored coaching support will focus on proactively supporting you to process experiences, offload the demands of whatever you are experiencing, deal with difficult conversations, develop coping skills and be supported in developing practical strategies. Talking to a trained coach will help develop practical strategies to manage the situation and maintain your health and wellbeing, so you can carry on with your work and your life, ensuring your wellbeing and resilience remains a priority. All coaching sessions are free and confidential – details will never be shared with employers. All coaching sessions are available via phone or video call, seven days a week at a day and time that suits you. To book your first coaching session please click here. You can manage existing sessions or bookings here.
  • #Lookingafteryoutoo (Primary care): offers coaching support for our primary care colleagues (including those working in both clinical and non-clinical roles across general practice, dental, optometry and pharmacy services) who have faced unprecedented challenges throughout the pandemic. The coaching offers a safe space to offload the demands of whatever you are experiencing and be supported in developing practical coping strategies. It might be that through a one-off conversation you are better able to cope with your situation and stay well, or you might find a few sessions helpful. You can find out more here.
Support for Doctors under Investigation
  • General Medical Council: the GMC have an extensive list of support agencies on their website to give guidance for doctors under investigation. These support services are general and not confined to those undergoing investigation.
  • MPTS: appearing before a tribunal can be daunting and the MPTS Doctor Contact Service is available to any doctor on the day of a hearing, and is particularly aimed at those attending alone or without legal representation.A member of MPTS staff unconnected to your case will be available to talk to on the day of your hearing to help lessen the isolation and stress that you might feel, signpost useful support material and services, and talk you through the hearing process.
  • British Medical Association: the BMA is the trade union and professional body for doctors in the UK. They provide advisory services for doctors, including those suffering with health related concerns. Your Wellbeing gives links to organisations, services and websites which offer help with addiction or mental health concerns. You can also access the following, free of charge, without being a member of the BMA:
    • BMA Doctor Support Service: the BMA runs this service on behalf of the GMC to offer emotional help to doctors under investigation. Call: 020 7383 6707 or email: doctorsupportservice@bma.org.uk
    • BMA Counselling: this service provides constructive advice and support. Call: 0330 123 1245 (open 24 hours a day, seven days a week)
    • BMA Peer Support: this service gives you an opportunity to speak in confidence to another doctor. Call 0330 123 1245 and ask to speak to a doctor adviser.
  • NHS Practitioner Performance Advice (formerly the National Clinical Assessment Service, NCAS): this service works to resolve concerns about the practice of doctors, dentists and pharmacists by providing case management services to health care organisations and to individual practitioners. Call: 020 7811 2600
  • Medical Defence Union (MDU): call 0800 716 646 or email: advisory@themdu.com
  • Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS): call 0333 043 4444 or email advice@mddus.com
  • Medical Protection Society (MPS): call 0800 5619 090 or email querydoc@medicalprotection.org - the MPS also provide members access to counselling for stress as a result of receiving and dealing with complaints, clinical negligence claims, disciplinary matters, and other medicolegal issues. Just contact your medicolegal case handler, or email info@mps.org.uk
Support for Trainees with a Disability
  • Click here to find out information on the Disabled Doctors network
  • Click here to access HEE guidance for trainees and trainers
Coping with Covid-19
Professional Associations and Colleges
  • Association of Anaesthetists: can support members with any professional or personal issue. See the website for resources to support the wellbeing of members
  • British Dental Associationprovide access to sources of advice, guidance and help for managers and dental trainees experiencing stress, emotional distress or difficulties at work
  • BMA – Your wellbeing: provides services and information to support doctors and medical students. Includes a confidential counselling service and a peer support service where you can speak in confidence to a fellow doctor
  • BMA Doctor Support Service: doctors who face General Medical Council (GMC) investigations or licence withdrawal have access to a confidential support service which offers emotional help from fellow doctors and functions independently of the GMC
  • General Medical Council: supports doctors with advice on health management, health assessments and links to other independent organisations where doctors under investigation can seek advice, support and resources
  • Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS)resources for doctors and representatives, providing information and guidance about preparing for hearings to help doctors, lawyers and medical defence organisations. Includes a doctor support service for confidential face-to-face support and a hearing information line for all doctors who have been referred to the MPTS for a tribunal hearing
  • Psychiatrists’ Support Service: provides free, rapid, high quality peer telephone support to psychiatrists of all grades who may be experiencing personal or work-related difficulties. The service is confidential and delivered by trained Doctor Advisor College members
  • Royal College of General Practitioners – GP Wellbeing: access advice and information on campaigns, events and courses as well as links to other resource
  • Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health – Wellbeing for health professionals: access a range of resources including practical advice, real life experiences and guidance to support health professionals at work
  • Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists – Supporting our Doctors: access advice, information and support mechanisms as well as links to other resources including a peer-to-peer support service
  • Royal College of Surgeons Confidential Support and Advice Service: a confidential support and advice service for surgeons who are experiencing problems in their work or personal life. Provides signposting to a number of resources and organisations that provide support and advice. Also offer a surgeon-to-surgeon helpline which can put callers in contact with an appropriate surgical colleague who can provide confidential advice
Medical Support Organisations
  • BMA Charities: access to two charities which help all doctors and their dependants, and medical students in times of financial crisis
  • British Doctors’ and Dentists’ Group: a mutual/self-help group of doctors and dentists who are recovering, or wish to recover, from addiction/dependency on alcohol and/or other drugs
  • British Doctors’ and Dentists’ Families’ Group: an independent self-help group which offers help, support and recovery for all family members who are suffering, or have suffered, from the effects of a doctor’s or dentist’s alcohol or drug addiction
  • British International Doctors’ Association: works to achieve equal treatment of all doctors and dentists working in the UK based on their competence and merit irrespective of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, country of origin or school or graduation
  • The Cameron Fund: a medical benevolent fund that supports current and retired GPs, as well as their families, in times of financial distress, whether through ill-health, disability, death or loss of employment
  • Dentists’ Health Support Trust: a registered charity with a national network of advisers providing dental professionals with free support and advice on health, alcohol and drugs issues
  • Dochealth: a confidential, not for profit, psychotherapeutic consultation service for all doctors, helping them to explore professional and personal difficulties with senior clinicians (fee payable for doctors using the service)
  • Doctors Support Networkan independent, confidential, peer-support network for doctors and medical students with concerns about their mental health. Offers an online, confidential, anonymous support forum. Aims to improve wellbeing of doctors by safely connecting them with other medics with similar concerns
  • HOPE for disabled doctors: help and support for doctors with a disability or chronic illness
  • Medic Support: a confidential service that provides support to medical students and doctors who have been identified as having issues relating to performance or health
  • Medical Council on Alcohol (MCA)an independent charity of health professionals from all medical specialties, dedicated to improving the understanding and management of alcohol-related health harm. Its activities include working with healthcare professionals to increase their understanding of the risks associated with their own alcohol consumption and of the measures to address these
  • Pharmacist Support: independent charity working for pharmacists, their families and former pharmacists and pharmacy students to provide help and support in times of need. Services include: wellbeing service; listening friends confidential helpline; financial assistance; specialist advice in the areas of debt, benefit and employment law and an addiction support programme
  • Royal Medical Benevolent Fund: a charity for doctors, medical students and their families, providing financial support, money advice and information when it is most needed due to age, ill health, disability or bereavement. Provides support for doctors and their families through all stages of their career and beyond
  • Sick Doctors Trust: independent organisation providing support and help for doctors, dentists and medical students who are concerned about their use of alcohol or drugs
  • UK Health Professionals with Hearing Loss: support for deaf and hard of hearing health professionals
  • Welcome Back to Work: a network providing support and resources to GPs looking to return to work after an absence of less than 2 years
National Charities
  • Alcoholics Anonymous: a fellowship concerned with the personal recovery and continued sobriety of individual alcoholics who turn to the fellowship for help
  • Cocaine Anonymous: a fellowship of recovering addicts who maintain their individual sobriety by working with others
  • Cruse Bereavement Care: a national charity for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, offering support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies
  • Narcotics Anonymous: a non-profit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs have become a major problem. They are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean
  • Samaritans: a charity dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide. Open 24 hours a day
Supported Return to Training (SuppoRTT)

Supported Return to Training (SuppoRTT) is a nationally driven initiative to support trainees to safely and confidently return to training following a period of sustained absence.  It applies to trainees who have been out of training for a period of 3 months or more for example due to: a gap in training, parental leave, sick leave/phased return or OOP (Out of Programme).  The SuppoRTT team provide full and impartial advice and will signpost opportunities available regionally and nationally.

Click here to find out what is on offer and how you can access the scheme.

Sudden death of a doctor in training - guidance for Postgraduate Deans and their teams

The documents available here have been written to provide guidance for those tragic occasions when doctors in training have died unexpectedly. The documents deal with a particularly difficult set of issues and very difficult circumstances aimed to support Postgraduate Deans and their teams to respond promptly, comprehensively and appropriately in these circumstances.

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